What is your personal relation to the marine WHS you represent?
Sundarbans is a wonder of nature. It is our national heritage. Like other Bangladeshi I also feel proud of it. I was born and brought up in northern part of Bangladesh but I have been known about Sundarbans from my childhood. I always had a soft corner for the Sundarbans. But my emotional attachments became strong when I started my job in Sundarbans. I have been in touch with the Sundarbans for the last 4 years. I have spent many days in the Sundarbans and I always try to feel it. We see Sundarbans as our ‘Mother’ because it serves exactly like mothers. This feeling creates my personal relation to the Sundarbans.
What are the specific problems and threats of your marine WHS?
Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh (WTB), with the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Forest Department, Government of Bangladesh, has developed a threat assessment of tigers (the top predator and indicator species of the Sundarbans), prey (deer) and the Bangladesh Sundarbans. It is based on Miradi methodology, developed by the Nature Conservancy, and identifies priority threats in the short, medium and long term. Threats to tigers and its prey have negative impacts on the Sundarbans. Immediate threats identified are: tiger poaching; prey poaching; sea level rise; upstream water extraction; wood collection; fishing and aquatic resources harvesting.
Why do you think is it important to safeguard your marine WHS?
Humans have already affected almost all terrestrial and freshwater habitats and almost half of all natural terrestrial ecosystems have been destroyed or severely damaged. Anthropogenic activities in many forms are altering coastal ecosystems and it our duty to increase public awareness, involvement and support for World Heritage through communication and education. It is our duty to recognize and ensure the identification, preservation and transmission of nature for future generations. Preservation of Macquarie Island, the Tasmanian Wilderness and all allocated World Heritage Areas acts as a safeguard against vested interests such as polluters and coastal developers. This is just one conservation strategy in which politicians and community leaders can take to ensure a healthier planet for future generations.